Penguicon party 2013!

My blogging will be light or nonexistent over the next week. I’m on the road in Michigan, at Penguicon; the Friends of Armed and Dangerous party will be here at 9:00 tonight.

It really is the 21st century. Yesterday I merged a bunch of patches, ran acceptance tests, and then polished and shipped a reposurgeon release – while in the passenger seat of a car tooling down I-80. The remarkable thing is that this no longer seems remarkable.

I discovered in the process that while i3 is the best thing since sliced bread on a 2560×1440 display, a tiling window manager is pretty uncomfortable on a laptop-sized 1366×768 display. The problem is that even dividing the laptop screen only in half produces shell and Emacs windows that are narrower than their natural 80-column size rather than wider as on the larger display; one gets the text in email and source code wrapping unpleasantly. I’ve fallen back to XFCE for laptop use.

In two hours, Geeks With Guns. Going to be a full day.

22 thoughts on “Penguicon party 2013!

  1. I was hoping I’d have work by now so I could drive up.

    No joy.

    But my Sig 556 will be home by mid week.

  2. @esr –

    >Yesterday I merged a bunch of patches, ran acceptance tests, and then polished and shipped a reposurgeon release – while in the passenger seat of a car tooling down I-80.

    Last night you told us it was gpsd – make up your mind ;-D

  3. If you’re really that hard-up for screen space (I use small bitmap fonts (7×14) on my 1366×768 display, so can fit two > 80-column windows on one screen), use tabbed window layout (Super+W). All of your windows in one workspace, but only one is “active” (and takes up the whole screen).

  4. @Jeff Read, that doesn’t sound to different from a traditional WM with a window switcher at the bottom…

  5. > The problem is that even dividing the laptop screen only in half produces shell and Emacs windows that are narrower than their natural 80-column size rather than wider as on the larger display

    That is, of course, dependent on your font size.

    Half of 1366 is 683.

    80*8 is 640.

    It would, of course, be a step down from the 10×18 font you demonstrate on http://www.catb.org/esr/fvwm2/

    Or you could use one large font and one small – say, an 80×42 emacs in 10×18 occupying 800 pixels, two 80×24 terminals in 7×14 occupying 560, and 6 to spare for gutters (and some room under the two terminals for panels or whatever.

  6. Pingback: Penguicon party 2013! • bring back unix

  7. > i code comfortably with a 6×13 font.
    Normally I too am happy with a font at that scale; but my latest diversion is rather larger; a Gothic font at 14×42. This imposing blackletter is so large that 24 lines of it struggle to share my screen’s mere 1050 vertical pixels with taskbar and windowcruft.
    Alas, I have yet to draw the (mildly anachronistic) Arabic numerals, nor indeed the full set of punctuation marks; so I cannot yet use it to code. Nonetheless, it does already possess the long or medial s, and what is more, knows when it is to be used.

    If I were of a more hardwarish bent, I would be sorely tempted to produce a set of dies with this font, and devise a means of automating the working of an old-fashioned printing press, for the ultimate hard-copy terminal. I suppose it is lucky that I am not.

    (Incidentally, my apologies for the archaisms in my language; I have just finished re-reading Twain’s “Connecticut Yankee”, and I have a terrible habit of taking on the phrasings and style of fictional characters when thus engrossed. I’m even worse after Wilde.)

  8. Did you manage to get ‘natural size’ windows (e.g. 80-column wide terminal windows) on i3? This might enable you to use your laptop screen more effectively, especially when combined with multiple font sizes, along the lines Random832 suggests.

    I suspect that there’s quite a bit of low-hanging fruit to be picked in making our GUIs less heavily dependent on the mouse/touchpad, and more TUI-like as far as user input is concerned.

    (Interestingly, the opposite seems to be true in smartphones and tablets, which are most naturally used with touch and perhaps sensor input, since even small external keyboards add quite a bit of unwanted bulk. I think that we’ll eventually see heavily specialized, per-application interfaces, with heavy reliance on predictive input whenever practical.)

    • >Did you manage to get ‘natural size’ windows (e.g. 80-column wide terminal windows) on i3?

      Not yet. But it’s on my to-do list, and I have read much of the i3 code in preparation.

  9. Almost completely off-topic, but, since you’ve been namechecked quite heavily in the essay, I wonder what you think of this – http://www.thebaffler.com/past/the_meme_hustler ?

    Back on topic (more or less) one of the problems of driving I5 in the central valley (Grape vine to Tracy) is the intermittent loss of data coverage. SSH (and NX for those things that really benefit from a GUI) works pretty well but it sucks to have connection drop just as you’re trying to commit something.

  10. FrancisT – egads, TL;DR. That has to be the longest essay ever written on the FreeSW/OSS naming controversy.

  11. That has to be the longest essay ever written on the FreeSW/OSS naming controversy.

    Indeed. And yet it still manages to be incomplete. As I understand it, there were two goals of the Great Rebranding:

    To adopt a name for our hacking practices that doesn’t scare away the suits
    To adopt a name for our hacking practices that doesn’t imply any particular motives on the part of the hacker.

    That is, O’Reilly, ESR and friends weren’t just waging meme-war for the hearts and minds of corporate IT, they were making a banner that the FSF, the BSD guys and people like me&emdash;who just like knowing that there are no artificial barriers in the way of learning anything I want to about the environment I do my hacking in&emdash;could all hack under, and wage our meme-wars for world domination, instead of amongst ourselves. The unifying goal of adopting the name Open Source was at least as important as the spin control one, as far as I can see.

    It seems to me that the predicate (FSF_hacker′ ∨ BSD_hacker′ ∨ hacker_who_uses_a_permissive_license_but_has_no_strong_ethical_opinions_about_doing_so′) was already a category (maybe a prototype in the radial category denoted by hacker?) and all the authors of the Debian Social Contract and the Open Source Definition did was give it a name, but then my awareness of these things definitely came about post-1997, so maybe they did more to create the category than I give them credit for. Either way, the effect of giving the category a name has certainly been non-zero.

    • >That is, O’Reilly, ESR and friends weren’t just waging meme-war for the hearts and minds of corporate IT, they were making a banner that the FSF, the BSD guys and people like me […] could all hack under

      That is correct. See my blog entry The uses of tribal cohesion for extended explanation, especially near the phrase “locus of identification”.

  12. What model is your 2560×1440 display?

    I started using i3 and want more pixels, but I want something that 6×13 font is still legible on. I’m guessing that means a pretty big screen.

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